Martin Odber

This conversation is closed.

Why is marijuana illegal?

Marijuana WHY is it illegal?

Some say "It's a gateway drug to hard drugs because when people buy this drug off dealers they are exposed to hard drugs" If this were the reasoning legalizing marijuana would mean people wouldn't need to go to dealers who may hook them on hard drugs so we'd be "closing the gate" between soft and hard drugs.

Some say "Marijuana can kill you if you smoke it." So far there appear to be 0 recorded deaths from any kind of overdose.

Some say "Marijuana can give you mad cow disease" So far not only does it not do that but its showing to have MANY positive medical affects including but not limited to fighting cancer.

Some say "the legal costs to taxpayers to keep marijuana illegal are beyond staggering" So far this is absolutely correct.

Our debate is to determine exactly what justifies the significant societal costs of marijuana being illegal on any level at all.

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    Dec 2 2013: Martin, perhaps a better question is why aren't big pharma chemicals illegal?

    When one reads all the possible consequences one has to be brain dead to take them.... which becomes a chicken and egg circular argument.

    Marijuana is incredibly safe when compared to many of these very dangerous drugs.... that are legal because they make someone obscene profits...

    Wake up and connect the dots....
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      Dec 3 2013: Hi Craig,

      I'm not sure if it's a "better" question… Maybe it's rather a question for a new conversation (that you could host)?

      And I find Martin to be quite awake and able of playing connect-the-dots…

      I remember one guy coming in to a conversation on the second amendment and he said something along the lines of "But cigarettes kill millions, why aren't we speaking about that", I told him that we were, in another conversation, because these conversations are topic oriented and that anyone who wishes may start a new Conversation.
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        Dec 3 2013: Jimmy, when Martin says thumbs up to my comment and he started the conversation, your comment becomes not relevant....not my re-framing the question.
  • Dec 8 2013: Marijuana is illegal and this is normal.
    Ok, it can be used for treatment, which is the case in my country. But it is normal that it can only be sold on prescription from your doctor.

    In all other cases it is a drug that alters the way you are, you are less aware and that is dangerous. You can do things you do not realize. You can put you in danger.
    While the effect is different for different people.

    But I think it's normal that it's illegal.
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      Dec 8 2013: Sky,

      I respect that some persons are accepting. That a law is what it is and its not to ever be questioned. However I cannot agree with this point of view. To do so would be to willingly become a nation of slaves, and that does not benefit the individual nor the group although it may seem the easy path, that is all it is, the easy path to slavery.

      What if we are not talking about marijuana?
      What if we are talking about .. lets see.. how about meat?
      Suppose vegetarians gain a majority government and outlaw eating meat.
      If you are caught eating meat you will be arrested, put through the courts, imprisoned (perhaps for life)
      Lets face it meat is not entirely good for us to eat and can produce issues in certain cases.
      Would you be willing to champion that law?

      Coffee, alters the way you are, so does tea, so do many soft drinks, as well as things like sugar. Really willing to support laws that imprison you for using them?

      We really "might" want to think this through a bit further ..
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      Dec 9 2013: Yeah, I think it's normal that people are stupid... doesn't make it right...
  • Dec 2 2013: My suggestion is that most people fear change and public exposition. That the answer is neither philosophical nor political, per se, but personal, which is, I believe, the source from which all change emanates. When one accepts personal responsibility, and is willing to be forthright about it, the risks can be enormous, as can the benefits. For example, nearly everyone I've encountered in my 66 years of life have smoked pot at one time or another. Most still do so...secretly.Secrecy is the operative word. They are willing to buy and smoke illegally, but not expose themselves to advocacy for fear of some kind of retribution for doing so. Many will deny it politically because they do not want to be exposed as having smoked it, afraid of condemnation. Perhaps because it is illegal, the risk is considered too great. The benefits, on the other hand, are personal, but they are unanimous...it feels good, promotes social relaxation, and camaraderie. People are reticent to advocate for pleasure in our culture.
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      Dec 2 2013: Certainly it is extremely easy to see the validity in the arguments that change is feared so an object in motion tends to stay in motion regardless of its logic and that a risk of personal consequence(s) seems to pale any possible reward(s.)

      It should be considered that technology via big brother and other is hurtling us at an incomprehensible rate of speed towards 100% adherence to all laws regardless of their ethical validity.

      Secrecy will soon be a concept of the past.

      The ONLY time honored exception to this is if a person is rich enough or powerful enough to be above the law.

      Society in general will face inescapable enslavement if the laws are unjust or the institutionalization of liberty if the laws are just.

      ( "just" for this purpose meaning logical outcomes that we would feel were right if applied to ourselves or others under the same circumstances and NOT the outcome of a court decision based on who had the better lawyer where facts and evidence can be ignored or misrepresented)

      It is to every persons advantage and interest to do what one can to ensure that the laws which govern us are ones we feel are ethical, just and logical.

      "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)
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    Nov 27 2013: There are all the arguments you mention above, however, none really holds.
    Let's look at the Netherlands. Marihuana is sold in dedicated stores such as cafe. They even sell you seeds, growing equipment etc.
    That seems to be working perfectly fine. Nobody sees junkies all over the place. People consume their joint as they would a cafe.
    Look at alcohol and tobacco. Both kill more people than marihuana.
    Bottom line, there is no logic behind marihuana prohibition. It's all politics and inflexibility to change laws that make no real sense.
  • Nov 19 2013: It's illegal because it competed with DuPont. Hemp is an excellent fiber source, in many ways better than nylon.
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      Nov 19 2013: True and it is still used in a number of industrial applications, but nylon is cheaper then hemp and is sufficient for use in all but a few cases. There are clothing lines and other consumer goods made from hemp fiber. But, again is was about market demand, not some great conspiracy theory by the DuPonts. Farmers can get more return from other crops then hemp. And remember, hemp grown for fiber is not quite the same as the other hemp grown.
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    Nov 18 2013: Because your country rulers you voted for decided it to be so and to keep it that way...

    On a cultural level: other cultures ban other drugs... The reason to ban one above another is more arbitrary than based on actual effects and societal impact.

    I think the discussion should rather be: do (in your case Canadian) citizens wish to change the juridical status of this drug?

    The whole debate should rest on the (utilitarian) trade-off of costs and benefits:
    - what type of ruling will be economically advantageous (taxing cannabis 300% would be a good income for the state)
    - what is the societal impact: do we wish to increase or decrease the use?
    - What are the costs in health or psychological well-being? (Individual impact?)
    - What ruling would make us happy on short, middle, and long term...
    - does it fit our culture?
    &c &c

    On a personal note:
    I think any drug should be legal and taxed in function of the 'cleanup*' cost. I would also test a form of registration of the amount you buy and see if we might want health-workers to have your level of usage in your medical file (in order to advise or prevent addiction). *The total cost should be paid by the taxes on the product.
    And of course: inform the people about the benefits and drawbacks of the drug.
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      Nov 18 2013: "The whole debate should rest on the (utilitarian) trade-off of costs and benefits:"

      would you base your analysis of slavery on similar arguments?
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        Nov 18 2013: Yes I most definitely would,

        (Though slavery is an example and off topic:
        And I would probably assign the adversity of being a slave or becoming a slave as very very high, though I might come up with a thought experiment where the best solution to the problem is making a certain number of people slaves.

        Then again, you shouldn't think slavery is all that bad: if you are being taken care of, and only need to follow instructions, have some days of and some degrees of liberty, then maybe you are better of than a person who needs to work very hard in order to repay his debts and is unable to provide for the healthcare of his children. )

        If you wish to push the matter: I reject the idea of principle moral mostly, as I see no value in assigning an infinite weight to a specific set of principles (that would seem too dogmatic to me).
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          Nov 18 2013: it is good that we are now clear on that. (aside from that attempt to derail the conversation in the direction of voluntary slaver, which was not in question.)

          on the contrary, i have moral laws that are unquestionable, regardless of the consequences. for example: if there is a drug that is so attractive that everyone tries it and everyone gets addicted to it and everyone dies, i still oppose banning it, because it is still not your business. you are welcome not to try it, and be the last man alive. but you have no say in whether i try it or not.
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        Nov 18 2013: We do indeed differ in opinion and I think we could go at great length to see what the differences in conclusions would be on a whole set of moral problems. (And I think it would be very interesting, though this forum seems not the greatest setting to do so).
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          Nov 18 2013: you don't have any good reasoning why you choose a value system over another. if you dig deeper and deeper, it will always be arbitrary at the end. it is your choice vs others' choice. and at that point, there are really only two ways to go: respect what others thing, or don't respect. i personally don't care about the rationale at all. one needs to be extremely stupid to not be able to come up with some reasoning. everyone has a reasoning. i only care about what do you when you arrive to the point of disagreement. you take a gun, and point it to the head of the other person, or you try to argue, ask, negotiate or just agree to disagree.

          please bear in mind that i'm talking about cases in which it is possible to agree to disagree. if we debate the ownership of a piece of land, it is not possible. we can't both have it. but it is very much possible with, for example, marijuana consumption. my consumption, per se, has no effect on anything other than my own body. i can come to a conclusion that marijuana consumption, all things considered, is beneficial for me. and if you come to a different conclusion, reaching out for a gun is not acceptable.

          and so we arrived the most interesting question of all: how do we define the boundary of my personal sphere? how do we define cause and effect? if my physical deterioration saddens someone, did i cause that sadness with my reckless self destruction? does that other person have a say in how i live? does that person have ownership over a part of my life? or what about the possibility that i might cause some fire drunk, and do harm to others' property? or what if i could discover something great, but i trash my brain instead? did i hurt anyone? we need a philosophical framework to discuss this issue.

          alas, i attempted to bring this topic up in another conversation, and it sparked literally zero attention.
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        Nov 18 2013: Ok, I would not consider reaching for a gun in a case where you claim to have pleasure. I could try and persuade you that you might want to consider long term effects. I might also give you your right to rot and let you sign that you refrain from any plea towards human compassion in the future when it comes to repairing your health.
        (Or I could be compassionate after you are a wreck and get you better so you can continue to use the substances you want)

        As for personal boundary: as there is no essence, the boundary is fluid and open to debate all the time.
        defining (rather: determining) cause and effect is not always possible, though most often it can be done in principle. In practice it is not always easy, and not always necessary, as there are negotiable solutions or compromises to be found.
        As said: you can live however you want (without seriously harming others) and go for the biggest orgasm or overdose or masochism. The remainder of society might decide to let you do that in isolation or by depriving you from their assistance or help even if you would ask for it (though I think a society should uphold high values).

        My personal reason to opt for the utilitarian approach is that it is concordant with Sam Harris' view (he explains it way better than I could in 'the moral landscape'): avoid harm to conscious creatures and improve the general well-being of those creatures. Even if multi-dimensional, there is always a direction that points to "better" or "worse". Seeking higher moral ground is possible and not completely arbitrary (so there are reasons to do so).
        Furthermore, principle-moral seems like an exceptional case of utilitarian morale, where the assignment of moral importance of one rule (or set of rules) is set to infinite.

        I think it is important to err on the side of personal freedom and liberty. though I am prepared to judge someone's behavior as harmful (and limit his actions) even if he thinks it is not.
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          Nov 18 2013: you give me the right, but others don't. there is a gun at my head, as we speak. the guy on the other end of the barrel is dressed in blue. he is not considered a criminal. he is the good guy. i'm the bad guy. i'm the guy that need to be disciplined, because otherwise i would buy weed and enjoy it. nobody handed me an opt-out paper to sign, nor it is possible. there is no escape from their "care". so what now?

          i think there is a good definition to the causality i'm talking about. the framework is called "property". it is far from being straightforward. but it is a framework that is usable if one takes the time to fully explore. my body is my property. also my property is everything anyone gave me voluntarily (for example traded). property can be as elusive as usage right to something, like a landscape, or breathing the air. property can only be tangible, physical. and we only need one rule: nobody should damage or take the property of someone else. again, exploring this idea might be difficult. but once applied, the results are clear and simple.
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        Nov 19 2013: The person you call the good guy is arguably not the good guy. (unless you have done other things not mentioned in your example).
        As holding a gun to ones head (a life threat) is a serious harmful hazard (unless you are kinky or masochistic), the benefit of doing so must be much bigger (if it reduces the total number of guns pointed to people drastically, then it might be ok). These are clearly not the case. The benefits of stopping you using cannabis is not worth the gun to your head.

        I would hope that in such case, people would start to protest and undertake action to improve their society and system they live in.

        As for property or ownership rights: I think we have such things in our juridical system and most cultures accept the idea of property and ownership.
        Again: for taking away property, there must be 'good' reasons. (for example: someone gave you a stolen good or a harmful material you cannot control or an untamed raging gorilla). ((come to think: what about owning a child, a mammal or a plant.... Can you own it? to what extend can you damage it yourself?))

        As for damaging: If I damage something you own, I should reimburse you (e.g. a car crash where error was indeed judged to be mine). If I am starving and take an apple from your apple tree (by entering your garden), would you point a gun and chase me away? (I mean: is your property right so holy it justifies small transgressions of it?)
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          Nov 19 2013: what protests?? this the common situation in most countries. there are protests, some hundred people used to show up. recently, in my country, the commando (!) kicked the door in on a guy to apprehend him for growing marijuana on his own property. if i'm caught buying it, they put me in a prison cell. this is what "illegal" means. this what we hide behind the nice words. it is raw violence to beat citizens into submission. the very opening question of this conversation is whether we want to do that or not.

          property: those are the easy cases. the harder cases are something like: taxation, social security, social security and self inflicted harm, selling harmful products to informed customers, copying the policies/products of a successful company, spreading rumors about someone or something, and so on. example: do i damage your company if i write an article that your product is a crap? did i violate your property rights?
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        Nov 20 2013: In Belgium, we have less oppressive measures against marijuana, although in my home town, our mayor recently opened his war on drugs. There is a lot of debate, and we continue to look for positive ways to discourage abuse and inform people and provide easy ways to get help if you wish to stop your substance dependence.

        Maybe Hungary has political parties that oppose such repressive measures? I suggest considering to vote for them or help to get the issue on the agenda of the parliament.

        About property: interesting examples... I hope that you have good laws that provide good guidelines and good judges to apply it to specific cases in order to sort things out for the better. Property right is indeed something to take into account, but there are other rights (like freedom of speech or self-determination for example). Depending on the case, another right might be seen as superior or more important than property right. (I'm also thinking that property doesn't take into account that on a collective level we cannot say the earth belongs to us and not to the next generations, hence we cannot destroy our ecosystem if at the same time we wish for our race to survive)
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          Nov 20 2013: ah, we have all kind of parties. the one that will almost certainly win the next elections advocates the harshest measures against drug users, as drugs are destroying society, blah blah. they like symbolism, like all populists do. the parties that have any chance of winning are cowards in this matter, they don't want any fuss about it. they would sneak in some easing, but not significant. the only party that wholeheartedly advocates decriminalizing drug use (only use, not trade) has like 2% votes. this is a very grim picture, but not unusual. some european countries has lighter regulations, but others have similar. the public talk is not a basis for optimism either. look around in this conversation: we supposed to talk about legalizing, but it is all about how harmful it is. so what?? hamburger is harmful too! people don't even understand the question.

          property: not at all. current laws violate property rights on many occasions. and by the way, those other rights should not be "other" rights. freedom of speech follows from property rights. in fact, our law limits the freedom of speech in many ways, while pure property based rights would not. a good example of spreading negative and unproven information. in hungarian law, it is forbidden. in the strict property right system, it is perfectly legal. you own your body, therefore you say whatever you like. the only consequence is that you can make contracts by words, and those are binding. but if i say microsoft puts backdoor in their operating system, or i call a politician a pimp, i can be sued by them according to the current law. but they could not according to strict property rights.
      • Nov 20 2013: I would, and the cost of "Severely endangering the souls of all who take part in institutionalized slavery." would be an extremely high cost that would have to be outweighed by a remarkably high benefit. Not all "costs" and "benefits" must be fiscal.
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    Nov 18 2013: Harry J. Anslinger and the prohibition movement.

    I believe it's clearly cruel to jail people for it. And I believe everyone should try it. So on an ideological front, I support legalization.

    Though weighing the costs and benefits of legalizing marijuana in this time and place, and considering the culture and means of cultivation and sale that have arose from its prohibition, I'm not so sure I'd like it legal. Decriminalized, absolutely, but I see some benefits in its current status, and some unpleasant side effects we may have to deal with if it were to be made legal. At least for a tax-evading, gun toting right-winger like myself.

    First off, prohibition hasn't stopped anyone from smoking it. Though the number of marijuana arrests is staggering, this is still an incredibly small percentage of marijuana smokers. In most areas it's cultivated locally, sold locally, and I think I'd prefer that grassroots economy over the environment we'd have in 20 years if Philip Morris took over. I think the culture would degrade as well - marijuana's status as an illegal drug and commonly used substance puts it in the twilight zone of society's acceptance - it bonds society against a great injustice and gives us all a healthy dose of scrutiny of the establishment. Quite different from the culture and stigma that has arisen around tobacco and alcohol.

    That, and I sure as hell don't want them to tax it. Sorry progressives. Legalization doesn't necessarily mean freedom for the plant. To really support the change, we'd have to discuss the terms. Can individuals grow it, or do they need a license? What will be the effects of patents, marketing and industry? I really doubt the prices would be any cheaper.

    I'm a lover of home grown tobacco. I suggest everyone try it, then reassess the cigarretes they bought at the corner store. There's quite the difference between a dried tobacco leaf and the reconstituted leaf sheets that the industry prints and applies ammonium to.
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      Nov 27 2013: Fred, I tend to agree with and enjoy reading what you wrote but can you think of any truly just reason for marijuana to be illegal?
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        Nov 27 2013: In the context of social justice, no, none whatsoever. Even if a society felt the need to outlaw dangerous substances to maintain peace and stability, cannabis clearly doesn't fit that ticket. Cannabis has a profound effect on one's thoughts and perspective, and if the thoughts and perspectives induced by cannabis and psychedelic substances are at all legitimate, then the prohibition of those substances are an attack on the freedom of thought, and arguably a form of oppression.

        Though with this in mind, I'm reminded of a quote by George Orwell:

        "If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them."

        This quote is often referenced in the context of rights not exercised, though I feel our current context here is a good example of the first sentence. Freedoms aren't simply granted by the state. We're inherently beings with free will. The state can only attempt to prohibit freedoms, and then, prohibition is only as effective as its enforcement. So that brings us to my larger point - legalization of marijuana is not an urgent requirement for us to finally have the freedom to smoke it. Also, legalization doesn't at all mean no regulation.

        So now, I can ask you: Can you think of any truly just reason for cannabis to be regulated at all?
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          Nov 27 2013: Absolutely.
          An end to criminalization.
          Regulations to prevent abuse to society by non responsible persons.
          Reduction in tax payer dollars used to control marijuana users.
          Increase in profits made from legitimate sales of marijuana and hemp products as well as spinoffs.
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        Nov 27 2013: I'll take the first and the third, but the second - Regulations to prevent abuse to society by non-responsible persons - I could use to answer your initial question. I might say, as many people would, that society stands to be abused if the people were allowed to inebriate themselves with marijuana. To which I actually personally disagree, placing myself in a camp against that camp. So I disagree with the prohibitionists. But then, as you say here, there's a camp that's for legalization, but still for regulation, for the exact same reason I just stated, that society stands to be abused. So I kindly disagree with your camp as well, and have before now, as I realize that legalization isn't the end of regulation at all, but actually means more regulation once the plant is legalized for sale.

        Your fourth reason - Increase in profits... - I have to ask, increase in profits for who? The current environment of growers and dealers aren't likely to see an increase in profits if it were legalized, quite the opposite. When marijuana was on the ballot for legalization in California, some of the bill's most dedicated opponents were from the Emerald Triangle and the medical marijuana industry.

        If by 'legitimate sales' you mean certified industry players or government in a post-legalized world, then that's the same reason a current grower or dealer would oppose legalization, profit incentive. Which is fine, but originally I was under the impression that by 'just reason' you meant morally or socially just.
        • Dec 7 2013: Fred you got my head.
          It took a second look but you finally got it right all the way!
          Regulation by the government is better than the current insane criminalization but not much better because as we know the corporations already run the government all the way to the Supreme Court and I am not impressed with what they have done to the government.
          What is the matter with de-criminalizing it and letting communities set their own standards? If there has to be standards at all (it's just a happy plant - leave it alone, what are we going to regulate next? dandylions), I trust my community more than the government.
  • Nov 18 2013: The societal cost of marijuana being illegal is the massive waste of criminal justice resources (at least here in the US). Drugs, for obvious reasons, are high recidivism crimes. I worked in corrections for a few years and you could always spot the drug addict files because they were HUGE as a result of all the convictions over the years.
    Each one of those charges represented a police officer that had to arrest them and take them to the jail, a jail that had to process and house them (at least for a few hours), a court that had to process the paperwork, a public defender to represent them, another stint in jail, and possibly a probation officer AND a mandated, sometimes paid for by the public, drug treatment program. Repeat that process 3, 5, 10, 15 times...That's true of any illicit drug. Marijuana's relationship to other crimes (i.e. theft, assault, etc) is very small in comparison to other drugs.
    The drug that is most commonly related to all crime is alcohol. It is legal. It has massive real, public costs. I have never been able to reconcile how alcohol can be legal and marijuana not.
    In my personal opinion, making any drug illegal is a waste of time. People are going to do it regardless (as has been proven over time). Drug treatment programs only work for people who want to be clean. I think regulating all drugs like alcohol makes more sense.
    *Please note my opinions are based on the US system. Things may be much different elsewhere.
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      Nov 27 2013: You bring an important aspect of the discussion to light I feel Sarah. You mention that marijuana may equal recidivism but that it is not directly linked to other crimes aside from usage, while other drugs are.

      Thank you for pointing this out to us.
    • Dec 7 2013: I certainly concur with Sarah T to the tee!
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    Dec 17 2013: Since this conversation is about to close I'd just like to share http://www.breakingthetaboo.info/ one last time. A global call to end the war on drugs.

    Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaking_the_Taboo

    Supporters;

    President Juan Manuel Santos - President of Colombia
    President Otto Pérez Molina - President of Guatemala
    President César Gaviria - Former President of Colombia
    President Lech Wałęsa - Former President of Poland, Nobel Prize winner
    President Aleksander Kwaśniewski - Former President of Poland
    Sir Richard Branson - Entrepreneur and Founder of the Virgin Group
    Bernardo Bertolucci - Oscar-winning Film Director
    Carlos Fuentes - Novelist and essayist
    Sean Parker - Founding President of Facebook, Director of Spotify
    Thorvald Stoltenberg - Former Minister of Foreign Affairs (Norway) and UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Asma Jahangir - Former UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary, Extrajudicial and Summary Execution
    Louise Arbour, CC, GOQ - Former UN High-Commissioner for Human Rights
    Professor Sir Anthony Leggett - Physicist, Nobel Prize winner
    Dr. Kary Mullis - Chemist, Nobel Prize winner
    Maria Cattaui - Former Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce
    Wisława Szymborska - Poet, Nobel Prize winner
    Professor Sir Harold Kroto - Chemist, Nobel Prize winner
    Professor Sir Harold Kroto - Chemist, Nobel Prize winner
    Gilberto Gil - Musician, former Minister of Culture, Brazil
    Professor Thomas C. Schelling - Economist, Nobel Prize winner
    Professor Sir Peter Mansfield - Economist, Nobel Prize winner
    Professor Niall Ferguson - Professor of History at Harvard University
    Professor Colin Blakemore - Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Oxford and University of Warwick
    Professor David Nutt - Former Chair of the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs
    Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta - Professor of Economics at Cambridge

    And there's a lot more, please check: http://www.breakingthetaboo.info/mission_page.htm
  • Dec 15 2013: There was a very interesting article which was talking about psychedelics, and the mind altering states people got into, and their outcome. And how they were used in the 60's until one day the federal government literally shut them all down. Even those ones that produced quality research.

    Even the research done by top and creditable established researchers was ordered destroyed, even thought it showed that people from IBM, Apple (Jobs) all used these drugs and they found it gave them the ability to see problems and issues they had in a new light, and often gave them the ability to solve them, with solutions that had been unseen.

    You see the rationale was that people might no longer submit to authority, and if that happened the consequences would be very dire for the various governments around the world. So during a few days every lab / researcher was either personally visited or ordered to destroy, lsd, marijuana etc.

    In the late 60/70s there was a campaign run to show people the horrors and warnings associated with "drugs".

    It did too, however, give the the similar reasoning to question the 'status-quo', but slanted a parental level, ie rebellious kids. And other various 'scare' tactics (people become murderers, genetic mutation). Thus giving the government a 'mandate by the people' to ban it. So virtually every government around the world followed suit and banned it.

    And ALL 'so-called' hallucinogenics since, regardless of worthiness, or medical rationale, or any other positive rationale have been banned/illegal by governments from that day forward.




    Job's was quoted as saying “Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important—creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.
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    Dec 12 2013: Marijuana was made illegal due to the prohibition era of the early 20th century.

    It remained illegal so as to generate a base for the government to funnel money into; different sectors of itself/law enforcement.

    Its pretty much a "stubborn law" that is being held on to so tight, due to the taxable $$$ the (ie.) DEA generates in combating its illegality.

    The counter balance will be its medicinal & recreational uses. However the "ace in the hole" sorta speak (for its revival) will be the taxable monies (generated)* in sales v.s. (lost) in loosing its "enforcment" generated taxes (ie. DEA) ~?~

    I believe that the scales are already tipping... we just have to wait a while, as bureaucracy's a bitch.

    Check out my other convo on Cannabis v.s. SSRI's in depression, anxioty, etc...
    http://www.ted.com/conversations/21951/debating_the_harm_s_attribute.html

    *No matter how you look at it the Cultivation, Production, Distribution (transportation), and Sales, are all taxable instances in the legal sale of Cannabis. The whole cycle is intrinsically a money maker.
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    Dec 11 2013: Peter Christ (famous "Law Enforcement Against Prohibition" spokesperson) is having an AmA on Reddit right now.

    Check the AmA http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1sklci/i_am_peter_christ_retired_police_captain_who/
    And the reason he got famous: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8yYJ_oV6xk
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      Dec 9 2013: No you won't, check the % of users among youth where it's legal and you'll find no such correlation.

      Both the Netherlands and Portugal for instance have lower usage rate then their neighboring countries.
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          Dec 9 2013: I thought that it wen't without saying that age regulation would be a thing...
          I think you're missing the point, more youth use pot where it's illegal for adults then places where it's legal for adults.
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      Dec 9 2013: and if there was no regulation, you would give weed to your child?
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    Dec 8 2013: Funny how some people ignore decades of accumulated evidence warning against the long-term inhalation of smoke into the lungs once marijuana is brought into the equation.

    Other than being a pain-killer, please elaborate on the "MANY positive medical affects." I've never heard of any.

    I agree with you that marijuana should be legal, but your hyperbolic and unsupportable rhetoric is a bit silly.
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    Dec 6 2013: Kris, I can't agree.

    Laws have been around since man came out of the caves and moved into villages.

    Morality is what you believe to be good in yourself or what you see in others.

    They are not the same. Laws can be made to limit what you hold as moral as in the use of Pot.

    Each of us view others as moral ( good ) or immoral ( bad ).

    An immoral person can obey the law and do immoral things.... just as a moral person can run afoul of the law.

    Why would you think that accepting a law is unmanly? It is what it is. However, If someone believes a law is inappropriate, I can understand his actions to seek repeal. My self, i believe in the concept of law. For example, have you ever violated the law of gravity? Seriously, Man's laws are the means that created civilization.
    You appear to feel strongly about the laws against the use of pot. I say, go somewhere where there are no laws.
    I believe that our Federal law against pot was ill founded. It is too restrictive. Medical science has not fully evaluated any benefits that may be derived from this plant source. Federal law forbids even examining it.
    There are states here in America, where pot is accepted for use.
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      Dec 6 2013: We are not discussing laws as a whole here Mike, and the laws against cannabis have only been in work since 1961, don't go on about cavemen when it comes to the legality of cannabis.
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        Dec 6 2013: I am not sure about cannabis laws where you are at, but it's been illegal here a lot longer.
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      Dec 6 2013: "Laws have been around since man came out of the caves"

      laws also *change* since then
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        Dec 6 2013: I know what he's gonna say...
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          Dec 6 2013: You know what I am going to say? Did I say it?
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        Dec 6 2013: Kris,
        Absolutely, specific laws can change and do. I was speaking more about the concept of laws, that has been around for a long time.
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    Dec 4 2013: Kris,
    You combined my comments...
    Legal: Break the law go to jail. Not an original conclusion, I read that somewhere.

    Drug effects: I am not a doctor, but I have had bad experiences with people how have abused drugs, Many drugs and with many bad outcomes. Yes, in my opinion if you abuse drugs, you will be medically effected and you can do bad things to other people. So, why would I support the abuse of drugs.
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    Dec 3 2013: Let's get to the bottom line... Some people in some places have voted to make it illegal. Should have they done so? Some say yes and some say no.
    Are there societal costs? Could be, but how do you measure those costs? Can one estimate some recovery from taxing legal marijuana? They did that to cigarettes and liquor and that created black market industries and further illegal activities...

    Is it safe to use? It's an intoxicant when used to excess and stays active in the body for up to 30 days. As is alcohol an intoxicant if used to excess. Nicotine can give a high to heavy smokers. So, can you say that this intoxicant is better then that intoxicant... it's like asking firing squad or hanging....
    So, if you want to use it, use it. if it is illegal where you are at and you get caught... man up and don't whine about there is nothing wrong and it's not as bad as.... . Take your punishment and be done with it.
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      Dec 3 2013: yes, people of north corea should man up, and take the capital punishment for watching porn or south corean television.
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        Dec 3 2013: So, porn is intoxicating... never thought about that... or are you saying the North Korea holds capital punishment for watching South Korean TV.

        Hey, I am not defending laws people make, whether democratically or dictatorially.

        What I am saying that intoxicants are or can be harmful and that is why they are referred to as intoxicants. If you were to drink two liters of alcohol a day or smoke 6 packs of cigarettes or smoke a dozen tokes, I would say that you are intoxicating yourself and that is not good for you... in my opinion
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        Dec 5 2013: Jimmy, you agree with Kris on everything.
        Kris,
        Don't blend my acceptance of legalities with my position on the effects of drugs.
        I don't make the laws. I said to obey the laws or you can ..... and overall get screwed. I really didn't mean to say it was OK so much as to say it is what it is. Not my laws, have no responsibility for them. They are what they are.

        You don't have to care about my opinion on the effects of drugs. I have never seen any benefit in the abuse of drugs only great hardships and other bad things. So that makes me hold a negative opinion. Notice, I have said abuse... not use. Maybe that is where you missed my point.... two little letters a and b....
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          Dec 5 2013: it ever happened that you disagreed with a law?
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          Dec 6 2013: I do not agree with Krisztián on everything, we've had different opinions on stuff before. But most of the time I find his arguments to be well grounded and thought through...

          Tell me Mike, do you consider yourself of being able to take the hypothetical seriously?
        • Dec 7 2013: I have been reading Krisztian comments for many months and I find his logic and judgment impeccable, I would love to have him in my corner on any intellectual discussion. He is a computer programmer and what that requires is you must be capable of writing an entire book without any errors. Every letter, number and symbol has to be in the proper place at the proper time and must all be in logical sequence. If even one letter is wrong it could be catastrophic for the program. It is very tedious work and a lot of it is done and organize in there head before they write a single line of a ten thousand line program. Not for the faint of heart. I have hired and fired people all my life and what I see in Krisztian I have only seen a couple times before but he is absolutely the best I have every seen, so Jimmy when Mike said you agree with Krisztian you may take that as a compliment.
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        Dec 6 2013: Kris, .... Obey the law?

        I have thought that there were laws passed that were ill conceived, not thought out and had the potential for causing extreme unintended consequences.... Recently, here in the states, such a law was passed that was proposed to provide health care to people who could not afford to get health care. I had thought that there would be public clinics like I have seen in Europe.
        But is wasn't. It was convoluted health insurance law, that canceled some insurance policies, created others, and taxed people who do not purchase health insurance. It hasn't even come into full effect and already is causing hardships to millions of people trying to find new health insurance for the canceled policies. Dumb law....
        But it is the law.
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          Dec 6 2013: i believe laws are just temporary like wind. morals are the foundation for everything. like in your analysis of the healthcare "reform". that law is wrong, misguided or even ill-tempered.

          violation of morals is wrong, whether it is prescribed by law or not. therefore putting someone in jail for smoking weed is immoral, either wrong or plain evil. and accepting it is not manly. accepting violence is either masochistic or subdominant. the latter in most cases, i suppose.
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        Dec 6 2013: Jimmy,
        Many years ago, I may have thought that porn could be intoxicating... but at my age it is but a distant memory of what might have been or could have been....

        Kris does make good arguments for whom I presume is a relatively young man...

        But, why would I take the hypothetical seriously? I sort of pride myself as a pragmatist...
        almost to the point of vanity... and you ask me to seriously consider a figment of some imagination? Don't think so...
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        Dec 7 2013: Sorry, Jimmy...
        i don't usually watch TED talks, because there is no give and take. If Mr. Flynn was into this conversation, we could have a discussion, back and forth.

        If I watch a Talk, (and I do watch some for the pure listening enjoyment of them) and I have questions, there isn't much in the way of feedback. I find myself talking back to the screen saying... "Yeah, but...."
  • Dec 3 2013: If you have some facts, I would read them.
    I'm not telling what I know, but what I suppose. If they legalize it, would it be a age limit to smoke some ? Like alcohol ? As I am young, I can say that my generation don't really know his limits. I think that it is why alcohol is forbidden for people under a certain age limit. We don't know what it does to our organism.
    Everyone has his opinions, and I don't approve it.
    The experience Dunedin has proven that there is an big impact on the capacity to docuse on things and that it detroys some neurons. I also have seen that it causes cancer. It's not about who smokes, but about what it causes. To me, even if it costs exetreme amounts of money, it can't be legalized, simply because it is dangerous for the health.
  • Dec 3 2013: I think that the health is more important... Some persons don't know about the consequences of smoking Marijuana. And this way, (and to me) it is not acceptable to legalize it.
    I agree, going in jail for smoking a joint is too much. But if they allow it, there will be much more people doing it... But for me keeping it illegal is a way to protect the people, because if it's not legal, you think twice before doing it.
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      Dec 3 2013: Experience suggests other.
      A vast majority of people use it illegally just as alcohol was used illegally during prohibition.

      Marijuana being illegal does not prevent or deter people from using it, it simply ensures they suffer for using it along with their families, along with tax payers who must pay for the enforcement, court processing, incarceration periods, and that drug dealers profit rather than legitimate business's.

      Logic, is not with this plan.
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      Dec 3 2013: Muller,

      Got any facts for this or is this simply something that you KNOW… because you know…

      Have you cared to check the statistics of users for the countries that don't enforce or where it isn't illegal? I have and I've actually found an inverse correlation, countries where it's legal have less use, even among youth…

      Would you read those facts if I spent the time re-finding them or is that a waste of time for me?

      Or even better, if you won't accept what I've said as even possible as being true, could you get some facts for me to read?
  • Dec 3 2013: I think it is illegal just because it is a drug.
    Even if there is no physical dependance, you become "mentally" dependant. And then you can answer:"But there are legal things that are more addictive and more dangerous than Marijuana !"
    Like Craig said, this things are legal because someone makes benefits over it.
    To me, there is also a problem with the fact that if it become legal, everyone can then have access to it. And if people have easily acess to it, they will consume more from it.
    I am pretty sure that Marijuana is less dangerous than the chemical products that we can find everywhere (in the food, in the clothes, etc.), but I don't know if it would be good to legalize it.
    Finally, there are many researches about mental illnesses that could eventually come from the consumption of Marijuana. So as long as we don't know what are the risks, it is somehow better to not legalize it.
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      Dec 3 2013: " it is somehow better to not legalize it."

      Even though it costs EXTREME amounts of money and resources to keep it illegal?
      Even though you would be ripped from your family and jailed or imprisoned for smoking ajoint?

      You feel that is reasonable under the circumstances?
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      Nov 27 2013: Did you know that you can reply directly to Martins (or anyone's) comments?
      You simply press the red reply text and your text will show up related to theirs, making it easier for all to follow the conversation.

      ^^
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      Nov 27 2013: Carolyn, from a philosophical standpoint how do you feel marijuana affects a person with respect to their position at any given time on Maslov's Hierarchy of Needs?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

      ..and yes for the purpose of the main topic I would be interested to know if there is any valid reason for marijuana being illegal in your opinion.
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    Nov 26 2013: So far the impression I get is that marijuana is illegal only because Du Pont says it should be.
    That beyond a super rich company saying Americans and Canadians may NOT use marijuana because we say so, there really is no justification for it being illegal.

    Please people.. come up with some solid reasoning for why it should be illegal. Because if we cannot.. every time I hear someone blathering on about how "free" our nations are.. I'm going to think its all lies.. and with just cause.

    This sort of illogical law flies in the face of "right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness"
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    Nov 24 2013: The really simple and short answer:

    Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_Convention_on_Narcotic_Drugs
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      Nov 26 2013: I've read this however to summarize it I believe it says "because we can."

      This by no means would be considered a justification in anything except for a dictatorship.

      One might hope that logic would prevail in a democracy.
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        Nov 27 2013: Well, basically most nations in the world have a treaty that says that they'll vow to prohibit production and supply of most narcotic drugs.

        Breaking UN treaties is something not easily done as it calls for consensus among the member states to go in the opposite direction.
        And any politician sent to the UN will find it quite hard to even try to bring these things up as they'd get lynched in their home countries and in the UN...
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          Nov 27 2013: Interesting and that may be a part of it.
          Although I note several states in the US have decriminalized and or legalized it, and in Canada Justin Trudeau claims if elected he's legalizing it.

          I wonder how that fits in with what you explained? I also wonder if declassifying marijuana from a drug back to the herb it is would circumvent that UN red tape.
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        Dec 3 2013: Well, that's what's so funny about the UN… The treaty doesn't really get enforced in any way, basically most treaties don't… So when a state/country breaks a treaty what happens is that the other world leaders will frown upon you when you get to work… And who wishes to be frowned upon at work.

        When I wrote "Breaking UN treaties…" what I meant was "Scrapping UN treaties".

        So basically any state and country can do as the wish but frowns will be passed down.

        The classification of drugs is mainly done by "The Commission On Narcotic Drugs" which is a UN organ. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commission_on_Narcotic_Drugs
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          Dec 3 2013: After reading that article I have to admit I'm curious as to who the "Economic and Social Council has power to alter or reverse the Commission's scheduling decisions" are??
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    Nov 23 2013: Actually, it is legal in certain of the United States. I am not sure of Canadian Law, or in other countries, Although, I have heard that it is in common usage in some, So, is this conversation best left to the Canadians? I, for one. have no interest in commenting on the actions of another nation. As the saying goes, I have no skin in the game.
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      Nov 23 2013: We all "have skin in the game."

      At the heart of the conversation is to determine if this law is based on logic or force.

      This affects us all directly or indirectly.

      I am surprised you would choose not to share your thoughts more, but thank you for your comment.
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        Nov 23 2013: It's based on crude, hillbilly logic. Not taking any modern science or research into account. Not even listening to all the government ordered research that doesn't comply with their narrow-minded thoughts.

        The ban on cannabis affects all of us as you say, it fuels organized crime with about 50% of it's total income worldwide amounting to at least $200 billion. It's also put millions behind bars for simple substance use, that in itself isn't immoral. And once again you can calculate the costs of having people in prison instead of having them contributing to society.
        Then we get the policing cost, both giving people a disdain for the state and police and costing countless hours of police work,.
        Further we have the loss of taxes, that could and would go into paying the potential costs and helping people out of addiction.
        Then we have the lack of medical research that's possible due to very restrictive laws. The pro side have been arguing for a long time that cannabis has many more medicinal perks then the ones that are currently accepted. But since no "serious" research can be done we don't yet know.
        Not to mention the cost of stigmatizing such a large part of society for substance use.
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          Nov 24 2013: Sorry Jimmy,
          English is my second language and sometimes I don't get my point across.

          People who are high, go outside and are peaceful... OK. But I was talking about people who do bad things... Yes, cannabis users are usually laid back.... except one who cost a good friend a lifetime's worth of money mismanaging his business or the young man high on pot didn't make the curve and wiped out some kids on the sidewalk.

          I know, it often doesn't happen, but it only has to happen once.
          My opinion is that if the best pleasure one gets out of life is to effect his brain by using a foreign substance then there are other real problems.
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          Nov 26 2013: I couldn't agree more Jimmy.
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          Nov 27 2013: Hi, Jimmy. I would guess that ten years from now marijuana will be widely legal, not because of a judgment that there is an inalienable right for people to party as they please but, as in the case that I believe persuaded the voting public in Washington State, people largely come to the conclusion that there is no compelling health and safety reason to treat marijuana use more stringently than alcohol, that police and legal attention to marijuana use is a poor use of public resources given the pressing safety issues to which those enforcement resources might much better be put, and because legalization may reduce dangerous criminal activities now associated with the distribution of illegal drugs.

          Here, for your interest, is the position of Norm Stamper, Seattle's most widely respected police chief ever: http://seattletimes.com/html/opinion/2002661006_sunstamper04.html
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        Nov 23 2013: Hi Martin,
        I had all ready made my position clear. What you do in the privacy of your home is none of my business. Unless you hurt someone in your home. You become intoxicated go out into public and create a hazardous condition that causes problems to others, I want your hide tacked to the barn door. I have no sympathy for those who intoxicate themselves and then do bad things. I don't care if it's beer or pot or crack
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          Nov 23 2013: What if people become intoxicated and go out into public and act nice, polite and peaceful? Because I've never known a cannabis smoker to cause problems to their surroundings because of intoxication...
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        Nov 26 2013: Martin, do you think it could be misleading to suggest that the people on the list you linked below "all use marijuana?" Some say they do and many say they either tried it twice or used it long ago. The entertainers on the list, it seems, are the ones who indicate using marijuana regularly.
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          Nov 26 2013: Fritzie it might be more correct to say "used." Simply because unless you hold them down while I take a blood sample and we have it tested... no one but they themselves really knows for certain either way, would you say that is correct?
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        Nov 27 2013: I just think that once you present misleading information, it hurts your cause.

        Why not play it straight?.
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        Nov 27 2013: I think that to say that the people on your list all "use marijuana" is misleading, when what they have said more often than not is that they tried it, in most cases likely decades ago, in the 60s or early 70s.

        To say that it is fair to suggest these are current users because one cannot rightly tell otherwise without a blood test (!) side-steps the fact that on that basis one could as well call anyone on Earth a current user because without a blood test one cannot prove they aren't either!

        To say they HAVE TRIED marijuana would be a truthful representation of those data- as much as you can fairly and with integrity conclude.

        I think we are in the absurd situation in public discourse on this issue that some people act like marijuana is for all practical purposes heroin, which is clearly false, and others on the other side of this subject seem to bolster their case by pretending that lists of famous people are current users because we after all cannot prove they aren't.

        Why all the distortion instead of trying to get down to reality? For example, is there any concrete evidence that marijuana is more harmful than alcohol or tobacco? If so what is it?
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          Nov 27 2013: "I think we are in the absurd situation in public discourse on this issue that some people act like marijuana is for all practical purposes heroin, which is clearly false, and others on the other side of this subject seem to bolster their case by pretending that lists of famous people are current users because we after all cannot prove they aren't."

          Not really no. We are in the position of attempting to establish if there is any genuine, logical and supporting evidence in favor of marijuana being illegal or if billions of dollars are spent annually, along with untold numbers of our nations being criminalized and or incarcerated because a rich company is holding our nations ransom and our politicians aiding them in this fallacy.

          We will find that I do not present myself in this matter to be a lawyer or expert, only an average citizen who is incredulous at the seemed irresponsibility of our governments to represent our interests which is their jobs.

          Attempting to sway the public eye from this stated goal and declaring findings invalid because I chose the word use over used .. is a governmental tactic to bait and switch the public eye from the truth when the truth does not favor the government interest. SHAME ON ANYONE who would stoop so low

          as for
          "one could as well call anyone on Earth a current user because without a blood test one cannot prove they aren't either!"

          Yes exactly thank you, and by declaring marijuana illegal without any supporting evidence of its danger to the public good our governments are doing far far worse costing taxpayers billions,unjust criminalization and incarceration, denying our right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness

          So get out your blood test equipment because frankly if someone out there is NOT a user they likely should be, as our very bodies have a cannabinoid system and not using it may be a good part of why our crime rates are so high, we're all jonesing!
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endocannabinoid_system
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      Nov 24 2013: English isn't my first language ether Mike, I don't think there's anything wrong with your English though... But sometimes it takes some time to get your true point across here since there's always a lot of questions back and forth and room for misinterpretation on every step of the line.

      I've seen research on the traffic accident rates for cannabis users (once again any research related to cannabis is hard to come by, at least compared to say alcohol) and it seems that you're about twice as likely to be in an accident if you're high on cannabis.
      For alcohol this number is much higher.
      So I'm with you on the part that that young man shouldn't have been driving and that should be illegal, and it is and still would be.

      However I have still to find any compelling evidence that says that cannabis smoking makes you irresponsible in any way. How many examples don't you have on people ruining businesses while not smoking pot?
      Do you really have any reason to believe that it was the cannabis that made him do it or was that just your conclusion?
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        Nov 25 2013: Jimmy, when you're right, you're right.
        Drunks are worse the pot heads when it comes to the number of traffic accidents, but, the numbers are skewed by the lack of testing for pot in accident cases. At least in my neighborhood.

        As far as bad business managers, there are far too many even those sober. But in this case, in the investigation of why the business went south, the lack of interest by the "using" manager was pretty well established.

        Then again, it has been said that cannabis is less injurious to people then even alcohol. But, it is my belief that cannabis is the worse of all drugs... Why? Because as far as I know, it is the only intoxicant the dampens down the "give a crap" part of the brain. The most dangerous person in the world is one who doesn't give a crap.
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          Nov 25 2013: Drinking/smoking and driving should always be and is currently illegal, agreed? If so we could move on since it shouldn't be related to the legality of the drug as is the case with alcohol.

          Single cases doesn't say anything. I know people who've ruined business because they've liked to play games or drink or go fishing...

          On what do you draw the conclusion that "Because as far as I know, it is the only intoxicant the dampens down the "give a crap" part of the brain."

          Show me some scientific proof and data of this Mike...And please explain what you think happens in the human brain when it's exposed to cannabis.
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          Nov 26 2013: Mike, I believe your justification is that people who use marijuana may lack motivation or be underachievers in the social machine.

          The people on the list at the provided link below all use marijuana.. would you suppose any of them are people you'd say fail to contribute to society?

          http://www.mpp.org/outreach/top-50-marijuana-users-list.html
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        Nov 25 2013: Ok, What happens and this info is all over the internet... nothing I have added here..

        Physically: Pot smoke increases, Heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate, appetite and most importantly...slowed reaction time.

        In the head: Loss of sense of time, paranoia, memory loss, depression and most importantly effect to thought process... the lack of focus or as I call it " the give a crap part of the brain".
        So I want to share a roadway with a sad, hungry, with runaway thoughts and a slow reaction time pothead...
        I am not comfortable in that scenario...
        Am I overstating the problem? Maybe, Do I care if you have a joint on Saturday night in the comfort of you own home. No.
        But if you are a pothead long haul truck driver, or an air traffic controller or a brain surgeon, I am the one who is anxious.
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          Nov 26 2013: Mike I think you make a good deal of sense in this contribution.
          Please forgive me if I'm wrong but I think you are saying that when a person is in a situation where its required they be responsible aka job or operating a motor vehicle etc, that you feel they should not be under the influence of any mind altering drug mild or otherwise.

          That to me seems logical and I'd fully support legislation to protect society in that regard to the extend that it is reasonable to the pros and cons of the situation.

          That said we can meet that condition without marijuana being criminal or illegal.
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    Nov 21 2013: Professor Nutt (yes, really!) is a psychiatrist and neuropsychopharmacologist specialising in the research of drugs that affect the brain and conditions such as addiction, anxiety and sleep. He is well known in the UK for campaigning against legislation that restricts the use of certain drugs in his research. Interesting article about him here:

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/nov/04/drugs-legislation-david-nutt-john-maddox

    I used this link downthread in my reply to Fred's response, but thought it might be useful to repeat it here.
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    Nov 20 2013: Like Brian pointed out it's because of DuPont, hemp competed with wood fiber.
    Years later Nixon needed another war since the one in Vietnam didn't go too well.
    He even got the UN to sign a treaty on the war on drugs, effectively making the whole world go on a drug hunt and punishing those who dared use them.

    There are some things happening with this whole war that are going in the right direction, I'm going to leave sources here:

    Firstly, watch "Breaking the Taboo", it's an hour long documentary (narrated by Morgan Freeman) about the war on drugs and how it came it be. And more importantly, what's being done about it. Website link: http://www.breakingthetaboo.info/mission_page.htm

    If you wish to continue from there i probably suggest Reddit for devoted conversations about this kind of thing (or any kind of thing)

    http://www.reddit.com/r/trees (for anything related to marijuana)
    http://www.reddit.com/r/timetolegalize (for discussions about legalization)
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      Nov 20 2013: Jimmy, Jimmy...
      DuPont made nylon not wood fiber. Nylon is cheaper to make and sell then hemp. There is still a market for hemp products .... not that one... out there but it is a small market. And yes, I own a pair of socks made from hemp.
      But,
      The War on Drugs.... not well done. But that road to hell was paved with good intentions.
      "What...... am I opposed to the use of drugs for recreational or habitual intoxication"?
      Absolutely! Why would you take that one part of your body, that makes you... your brain and put a toxin in it? Toxins are poisons. I understand if you have a medical problem and take drugs under a doctors care to cure your illness... but the idea of picking up a couple of...tokes to get high this weekend? You need to be the casualty of war. OK, that is harsh. Jail time? heavy fines?
      How about we bring back those stocks they used a few hundred years ago.... Get high, get busted and get put in a stock in the town square for a day. Have a big paddle there in the rear of the stocks. Let people come by and beat some sense into your only functioning end.

      OK, not practical, but I bet I made you smile....
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        Nov 21 2013: Mike, Mike.... (I can do the namesayingtwice as well)

        You are right, it wasn't for wood, it was for nylon.

        Didn't make me smile, just made me sad that you think that harsh punishments do any good, but you're not that evidence based are you?

        Why would you need to punish someone who's already punishing themselves according to you?

        If you wish to speak about the logic of intoxication or why some species have a pattern seeking intoxication I believe that's a topic for another conversation.

        But you should really watch the documentary and/or check the links.

        And maybe visit http://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview
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          Nov 21 2013: Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy.... the first name hat trick.

          Don't be sad about me. I am sad enough, but I digress

          If someone wants to use drugs of any sort and scrabble his brain, that is his choice.... not my problem.... things I can't control.... not my problem.

          But, our intoxicated friend goes out into public and does irresponsible things that effect me and mine. Now I am looking for retribution. Drunk drivers kill people for one.
          A good friend open a small business and hired unknowingly a pot head to manage his business. The "manager" ran the business into the ground and my friend lost everything.

          So, I say what you do in the privacy of your own home is what you do in the privacy of your own home.
          But, if you get intoxicated and come out in public and do damage, you deserve to get punished.
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        Nov 23 2013: Mike,

        If you take some kind of drug that would make you kill people, I would deem it quite logical that you'd be sentenced for murder and the substance would be made illegal.

        And if you use a drug that makes you (more) unsafe in traffic the use of that drug should not be permitted in traffic.

        And you shouldn't drive drunk and you shouldn't drive high, driving drunk increases the rate of accident by a factor of 4-40 while driving while high on cannabis increases your rate by a factor of 2.

        But yes I agree, if you cause danger for someone, society should do something about it (but I'm not all that for the method of punishment).

        But you won't find any research that will give you any reason to believe that pot smokers shouldn't be allowed to walk the streets because they pose a threat to their surroundings (unless operating machinery or such).

        And I'm only backing what the "UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs" have to about it. The recommendation (for all countries in the world) is to decriminalize cannabis for starters and to then experiment with different drug programs.

        (Did you know that consumption rates are lower in countries where it's legal to do drugs, even among youth)
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    Nov 19 2013: I didn't care about it until I saw the damage it could do. I remember drinking a fine wine, it was wonderful. I won't go into the experience, Then I met people who drank any alcohol they could find just to get drunk. Not good.
    There is no fine wine equivalent in pot.
    Many people smoke pot to get high, like many people drink alcohol to get drunk.
    THC and alcohol effect the brain and not in a good way. I have never understood why anyone
    would want to be high or drunk.
    For a thrill? To escape reality?

    However, if it becomes legal, it becomes legal.
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      Nov 19 2013: for example one goes here
      http://www.greenhouseseeds.nl/shop/feminised-cannabis-seeds/feminised-seeds.html
      to see that marijuana is just as much a high quality entertainment as wine is

      why would anyone do that? it is not of your concern. i would appreciate if you minded your own business.
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        Nov 19 2013: Kris,
        I am minding my own business. I said if it becomes legal, etc.
        What I should have said is.. I don't care.
        I just don't understand anyone doing something to effect their brain for "high quality entertainment"
        I don't understand people who slash their bodies,
        who stop eating and literally starve themselves to death.
        I am told that some people have mental issues and use methods to address their personal demons.
        Others use methods because they can... mess.... with their heads. I just don't understand why.
        But, in the end I really don't care.

        PS, I have felt a number of things drinking a fine wine... high quality entertainment didn't come to mind.
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        Nov 19 2013: Now, that was funny.

        Actually, the last time I was on a ride, I screamed my fool head off....
        not allowed on anymore and that is not all that much fun. However,
        I live vicariously through my grandsons...
  • Nov 19 2013: Think it will be eventually. It will cost society money, similar to alcohol.
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    Nov 18 2013: I believe there are three states now in the United States where Marijuana is legal for recreational as well as medical use. There should, then, increasingly be data regarding the health and safety impact of that policy over the alternative.
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      Nov 24 2013: Here's the Wiki with maps and sum-ups of the states that have any other status on the drug then illegal.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_in_the_United_States

      Further more I think that you're right about getting more data, however I don't think that the lack of data is the issue here, it's the lack of awareness and stigmatization of the drug and it's users.
      And I think that the marijuana movement is spreading a lot of that awareness and decreasing the stigmatization, and the rest of the world really need this change to happen in the US so that we can start doing it too.
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        Nov 24 2013: I think there will be quite different kinds of data available as states go through legalization.

        I know in Washington State there is quite the gear up of that industry. This includes large street-front cannabis lounges for members, commercial promotion of cannabis delivery services, as well as people of a variety of ages walking down the street smoking.

        I think it is typically easier to research effects of something once it is legal.
        • Dec 7 2013: OK Fritzie, that's the last straw! I'm leaving Las Vegas and going back to the state of my birth where my eyes were first opened after leaving the slavery state of Utah. What the Hell did I just say? I'll explain.. I was born in Fort Lewis, WA to a genius drunk and Irish cheerleader. They dragged me from Japan to Florida and then to Alabama and then at 4 years old I was given to the Mormons in Utah to be a whipped slave for 12 years. I served for two more years and then took my $100 and fled back to Washington state where my eyes where open to the real world for the first time. I discovered that my father was beating his new millionaire wife just as he had my mother and me then struck out on my own. I worked at Georgia Pacific and went to computer school at the same time and the day I graduated I started work at the biggest data center for the state. Having just been a Mormon slave for so many years it was hard to get used to Old men coming into my office and addressing me as Mr. Henline and asking me to debug their programs after all I was only 20 at the time and already running the payroll, general ledger and vendor system for the entire state. Within another year and a half I had advanced to systems analyst and then the systems programmer responsible for the whole data center which served 40 state agencies including the State Patrol and legislators. As the systems programmer I revamped the entire security system, set standards & trained operations, bought & installed multi-million dollar computer systems, lectured in the admin building, the state capital and at Evergreen State College to hundreds of programmers, analysts, managers and professors. I was on call 24/7 for four years. On weekends I started a hypnosis therapy clinic in my spare time, when I wasn't fishing, skiing or scuba diving on black lake where I lived or Puget sound.

          I just wanted "you all" to know what you can do under the influence of that terrible, horrifying, devil's weed MARIJUANA!
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        Dec 7 2013: Keith, I would guess a large proportion of the generation of which you are a part, and mine as well, has first hand experience in this area and therefore little fear.

        One of the popular papers in the Seattle area, in the same way that papers carry ads for workshops and trainings for investing in real estate and so forth, has ads for workshops to start cannibus related businesses. One model I have seen promoted on television is in a sense related to tea shops, with various strains (I don't know the approroate word) as well as confections designed for particular effects, much as , say, chamomile tea is projected to make a person sleepy, valerian has other functions, gensing yet others,, and so forth
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    Nov 18 2013: There seems to be a link of increased feelings of paranoia and anxiety in younger people with heavy use. There are risks of relapse in users who have schizophrenia and other mental health problems related to psychosis:

    http://www.ukcia.org/research/Psychiat.htm

    I think most of these problems lie in the smoking of 'skunk', which is 3-4 times the strength of ordinary cannabis. Skunk has transformed what was once a relatively harmless vice into something altogether more harmful.

    Ordinary cannabis and THC cannabinoids actually have significant medicinal value for aids, cancer, chronic pain and a long list of other conditions:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_cannabis

    So it seems that light use of ordinary cannabis causes little harm. But there's the problem - how would one specifically legislate against heavy use and/or the use of skunk, while leaving ordinary cannabis legal? I don't think legislation could work with such surgical precision, let alone policing the thing in the first place.
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      Nov 19 2013: I'm not sure I would call the less potent pot of the pre-medical days ordinary or less dangerous. I was living in Michigan in the years leading to and following 2008, the year the state legalized medical marijuana. The quality of pot generally changed drastically over the course of 2009 - 10. Before 2008 most of it was imported from the south, far less potent and half the price. Since 2010 I haven't seen a single bag of that. It's rare to come across marijuana that wasn't grown in the very same town that you purchase it in.

      While the potency is higher, I don't judge the quality increase on simply that factor. Before 2008, "brick weed" was common in Michigan. For about $25 a quarter ounce you could purchase a somewhat stale, brownish corner of a brick. This was commodity weed, commercial. It was grown on large outdoor farms thousands of miles away, using pesticides we could never know about, and if it was at all sticky that was because it was sprayed with Coca Cola. For about $40 a quarter you could find a quality quite better, but likely coming from similar circumstances.

      That's virtually non-existent in Michigan today. Street prices are around $80 a quarter, "skunk weed" as you refer to here, always local. The difference is quite like the difference between locally grown organic food and a tv dinner. I would never regard the "ordinary pot" of the pre-medical days ordinary at all, and certainly not any better for you.
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        Nov 21 2013: Hi Fred, I used to smoke "brick weed" in the 70's and had no idea at the time that it was sprayed with Coca Cola and goodness knows what else. I've since learned (after speaking to you) that anything form soap to glass fibre were also used to alter its bulk and/or consistency.

        I've never tried skunk myself, but have only ever worked with people who did use it. It seemed that for whatever reason they had become reliant on it (I hesitate to say "addicted"). It was difficult to tell if their mental health problems were as a result of skunk over-use, or whether they used skunk to try and mask paranoid feelings they would have had anyway. I suspect the latter.

        I'm an admirer of the work of Professor Nutt (yes, really!), who is a psychiatrist and neuropsychopharmacologist specialising in the research of drugs that affect the brain and conditions such as addiction, anxiety and sleep. He is well known in the UK for campaingning against legislation that restricts the use of certain drugs in his research. Interesting article here:

        http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/nov/04/drugs-legislation-david-nutt-john-maddox

        Thanks for putting me straight on "ordinary pot" :-)
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          Nov 27 2013: That link was an interesting read, thanks. I do believe the psychological side effects of cannabis and various substances is a legitimate debate, but you're right that the role these substances may have played in an individual's issues could be difficult to assess. It's not really possible to take a single personality and split it into control and test groups, and even if we, let's say, took a set of twins and studied them over the course of a decade, substance abuse might be an insignificant factor when taking into account their other life experiences.

          Now paranoia, maybe marijuana smokers have a legitimate reason to be paranoid :), if it's about getting caught at least.

          I'm not a psychoanalyst, or even at all familiar with the field, but I would take a guess that the status-quo sober state we use for comparison isn't exactly free from psychological turmoil. Clearly in cases where psychedelic use may threaten those with pre-existing psychological problems, the root of those problems isn't the drug use. Perhaps the human being is inherently but subtly psychotic, and we all have tendencies that would be only amplified by the use of psychedelic substances, putting us in a position of confronting these issues or further succumbing to them.

          There's an excellent documentary series by BBC called "The Century of the Self", which covers the history of Edward Bernays and the birth of the public relations industry. According to the first video in the series, Nazism was a big indicator to the public relations industry in the US that the human condition is inherently psychotic, and if not controlled, could lead an entire society into psychotic chaos. Even today, products are marketed to us in irrational terms, advertisements are tailored to our irrational fears and desires, designed to poke our psychotic tendencies in a way.
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      Nov 26 2013: Allan,

      I don't know that it's justification to say " are risks of relapse in users who have schizophrenia and other mental health problems related to psychosis:" is some sort of reasoning to ban the entire nation from its use on threat of life in jail or other incarceration or criminalization.

      I mean seriously .. water if you over consume it causes death (drowning). Yet no one suggests we ban water.

      Honey, peanut butter, shellfish the list of things some people are allergic to is IMMENSE .. but the items I mentioned remain commonly at the grocer.

      When I ask for logic, this is an example of what I mean.

      It is logical that we imprison murderers. If we don't we are all going to suffer I think that most people would agree that its logical to imprison people who resort to killing if its not in self defense or government authorized (war.)

      That's the kind of "that makes sense" logic I am looking for when I try to reason how society justifies keeping marijuana illegal and criminalized.

      To me? The laws of our nations should make sense to us. Then they are not the nations laws (oppressors) they are OUR laws. Laws that make sense to us require an awful lot less enforcement as they are often self supported by all participants.
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    Nov 18 2013: part of the problem with drugs and alcohol is that we have automobiles and heavy machinery, and people maybe can't operate them as well when narcotized. In a more primitive society without autos and heavy tools, there might not be as much censure on drugs and alcohol, for example, some Indians used peyote as a sacrament?
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      Nov 26 2013: Greg.. turkey contains tryptophan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tryptophan which makes people drowsy.. and being made drowsy chemically can definitely impair ones ability to operate machinery wouldn't you say? Yet we don't drag you to jail for enjoying a turkey.

      I can name a long long list of legal things that could interfere with use of operating heavy machinery or driving that are not illegal.

      I'm pretty sure that when marijuana becomes decriminalized we will have laws in place to discourage people from using it and driving operating heavy machinery much the same as we do with alcohol .

      In my opinion this single aspect does not justify cannabis being illegal and criminal.

      Do you really believe it should be? Why?
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        Nov 27 2013: well, Martin, someone should not operate a car, or heavy machinery, if they are drowsy, that is against the law, and if a police officer sees a person doing driving dangerously, pulls the person over, and sees that the person is drowsy, the officer will be justified in forcing the person to stop driving and to confiscate the car. I have not observed that people become drowsy after consuming turkey to where it would impair their driving, so I would not think the effect you are talking about is significant. I would imagine my statement would apply to your list of other things.

        It is a good question as to why consuming a little alcohol is okay, but as far as I know, even consuming just a little marijuana is not, or maybe that is not true, I think the state of Washington may have changed that here in the United States. I can only think that alcohol is more attractive to people than marijuana and thus it is harder to prohibit. The authorities tried to prohibit it here in the United States, but the effort was a failure.

        Thus far I am sticking to my opinion, that, yes, marijuana should be illegal because it could interfere with people driving or operating heavy machinery. In fact, if I could, I would make alcohol illegal for the same reason, but, as I say, the U.S. tried that in the 1920's, and it was a failure. But perhaps you have a counter-argument that is more powerful than my argument.
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          Nov 27 2013: Greg,

          Suppose we both agree that it should be illegal for people to use marijuana and drive or operate heavy machinery. What about people who are NOT driving or using heavy machinery including those who do not possess a license or vehicle and have no intention of every driving or operating heavy machinery?

          What sound reason should prevent them from indulging in your opinion?
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        Nov 27 2013: thank you, Martin, well, but how do we know they won't drive, the law is outlawing situations that might happen. Or they might go for a walk and get hit by a car because the intoxicant made them less careful. So it is somewhat for their own protection.

        But if you had a society without the cars and machines, I would see no harm in people using hallucinogens and psychedelics, as they are fun and open your mind, although even there you have to have a balance, you don't want people descending into opium addiction and not pulling their weight productivity-wise. Also, sometimes intoxicants play a role in crime, sometimes criminals are high when they commit crimes, even in primitive societies. So there are some problems with them across the board.

        Do you use marijuana, Martin? What do you get out of it? What's wrong with sobriety, is life not satisfying when you're sober?
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          Nov 27 2013: Greg,

          Do you seriously embrace a world in which anything that can possibly impact negatively must be totally and absolutely ruled out?

          You do realize that we'd better rule out water, so people don't drown or commit crimes eh?

          I mean I'm pretty sure that it can be scientifically proven that any human being who has ever committed a crime, or dangerously operated a motor vehicle has drank water!

          What I am suggesting is that I do not for a second believe the arguments given remotely justify the rationalization of marijuana being illegal.

          As for the last part of your reply, my or your or anyone's personal life or habits are not under scrutiny here and to attempt to make it so means you are running out of pseudo plausible arguments and resorting to the old "bait and switch."

          However Greg, we won't be baited and switched to personal attacks. Lets remain on topic.

          The fact that someone "may" do something that could interfere with driving or operating heavy machinery does not justify barring an entire nation from its use under all conditions. That is unrealistic in the extreme.

          Do you have any other reasons you can think of that might justify marijuana being illegal?
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        Nov 27 2013: well, we certainly have rules about the use of water, Martin. For instance, I expect there are laws that a public pool must have a lifeguard.

        I would also say it's a question of degree, and also what are the rewards versus the consequences. Apparently our society has decided that the dangers of marijuana are sufficient, and the rewards insufficient, to legalize it.

        I wasn't trying to put your personal life "under scrutiny," or really even making an "argument." Probably I was just wondering what prompted the conversation, it seems likely that someone who starts this kind of conversation uses it, and is in an excellent position, or the best position, to say why it is beneficial, to say what is wrong with just being sober.

        I guess you'd have to look at what the consequences will be if you legalize marijuana for an entire nation. How many more traffic accidents a week across the country, ten? Times 52 weeks in a year, 520? How many extra fatalities? 50 a year? I don't know. But it would be tragic for the people affected, and tragedies do ripple across whole societies.

        It might be good to ask the authorities why they have outlawed marijuana. Maybe there are reasons different from what I'm stating. Now are there countries that have legalized it, why did their authorities decide differently? Perhaps more people in those countries want to smoke it?

        You can call them pseudo arguments but I'm not convinced yet by what you're saying.
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          Nov 27 2013: Greg, my stake is in thinking a democratic country should have laws that are just and reflect the values and good of its people.

          Marijuana being illegal is a HUGE protruding middle finger to the face of logic and does no good to the people of a nation.

          As much as I have ever managed to research on my own NO JUST REASON comes to surface that can possibly justify its criminalized state aside from some big company feared its competition to their product and acted to have it criminalized.

          Logic tells me in a democratic society a land where personal freedom is upheld surely that cannot be the sole reason. That somehow, somewhere, there is some real justification for the tremendous financial burden criminalizing marijuana places on society, and the tremendous personal hardships it places on affected individuals who are otherwise law abiding citizens.

          Unable to find any such valid reasoning, I have reached out and brought it to the TED community, and so far.. it seems that .. there is no valid reason except the government flipping taxpayers the bird and saying because we say so that's why!
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        Nov 27 2013: thanks, martin. Well, first of all, I have used it myself. I enjoyed it, and learned from it. But now I just enjoy sobriety, when it comes to marijuana, been there, done that.

        Second of all, judging by how it affected me, I would not want to think that a lot of people are driving under its influence, any more than I want people to drive under the influence of alcohol. I think it impairs driving, and a car, as they say, is a lethal weapon.

        I am suspicious of the corporation argument. If marijuana were legal, wouldn't corporations make money from it, too? I think the reason it has been more successfully outlawed than alcohol was is, for whatever reason, there just isn't as strong a demand for it. I know I've taken a couple of bad marijuana trips, whereas alcohol is more consistent, maybe that's why people don't mind marijuana being outlawed but do demand alcohol?

        I tend to believe people and groups do things for good reasons, thus I don't think it's just the government flipping us the bird. I've said why I support the laws, and perhaps my reasons are the reasons why the government made the laws. I think this would be easy to investigate, you could go to your local law library and read the arguments that occurred when the government decided to make this law. In my hometown I looked into why the city government made a certain law, and I discovered that before the city council voted, they employed researchers to look into the subject and marshal the arguments for and against. There is a lot of thought underlying laws.

        Still, what is wrong with sobriety?
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          Nov 27 2013: Greg,

          I myself enjoy sobriety quite a bit at the moment.
          However, I do not enjoy illogic or oppression.
          While I may not always exercise every choice, I am a firm believer in having them unless there is sound reason not to.

          As for why marijuana was made illegal I understand that pharmaceutical companies wanted it to be thought of as poison. Please note that there are 0 recorded deaths due to marijuana that I have ever been able to locate so where they got off calling it a "poison" you tell us. I suspect they had manufactured medications that they wanted to replace marijuana products with.

          Also, just because I may not be using it at the moment, doesn't mean that I"m going to agree to blindly allow fellow citizens to be incarcerated over it, let alone pour billions of taxpayer dollars into it so some pharmaceutical can make money, the logics just not there.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_history_of_cannabis_in_the_United_States
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        Nov 28 2013: Well, I think it's an interesting question whether marijuana is a poison. I am trying to imagine how I might feel if I used marijuana frequently, I think I might be a bit slower and duller, so it might be slightly, or somewhat, poisonous.

        In general, Martin, would you agree that we want people to use as few intoxicants as possible? Probably all intoxication has some bad health effects, physical and/or psychological. Actually, the United States government has been pretty consistent in trying to discourage intoxication, after all, they did enact Prohibition, where they banned alcohol. And they are severely controlling and limiting tobacco use. Some of these prohibitions have been more successful than others. The prohibition against alcohol did not work, I guess so many people want alcohol that it can't be prohibited. On the other hand, it must be true that not so many want marijuana, so the prohibitions against marijuana have been somewhat effective. For instance, I believe in California voters voted to keep some illegality on marijuana. That suggests that most people don't strongly want marijuana and are content with it being illegal, for the moment, anyway. But in general there have been consistent efforts to discourage all kinds of intoxication, not just marijuana.

        Alcohol may be a slightly more sociable drug than marijuana. I can imagine that alcohol served at a party greases the skids of sociability, helps ease conversation, whereas marijuana may not have the same effect, people may retire to their corner to enjoy their visions, so that may help explain why alcohol has more support.

        It seems worth saying that even though alcohol is "legal," it's a very controlled and limited "legality." We also spend some money controlling alcohol, for instance one of the police's jobs is to pull over and possibly arrest and process people they think are DUI.
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        Nov 28 2013: I have maintained, Martin, that one justification for prohibiting marijuana is that it reduces injuries and fatalities from traffic accidents. Someone could counter-argue that in another way it increases injuries and fatalities, in the sense that because it is illegal the police have to fight it and occasionally an officer gets hurt or killed. And we hear about criminals killing each other over it. I would say in my mind it seems worse for an innocent person to die because they got hit by a car driven by a person high on marijuana than for a policeman to die fighting marijuana trade. Would you agree with me there? I guess it's because the policeman has psychologically prepared himself for death, it comes with the territory of his job, whereas an innocent driver has not prepared himself as much, hence it is more traumatizing.
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          Nov 28 2013: Greg, I can appreciate your perspective. I remember hearing in a movie once a line that stuck with me "it's not that we die that counts, we all die. It's how we live."

          That said quality of life matters and so freedoms matter. The line between societal constraints and personal freedoms needs to be drawn ONLY at the point where personal liberties infringe on someone else's.

          To directly consider your point a life is a life. That peace officer no doubt has a family, friends, people who love him or her and care. "No man is an island" as they say. They matter, their lives matter, just as much as yours or mine or anyone else's does.

          I cannot fail to notice that you return again and again to a single line of reasoning. A person who is intoxicated on a substance endangering anothers life because they are driving. Has this been a personal experience that one perspective seems to preoccupy your reasoning?

          Marijuana being legal, decriminalized, or illegal ..no scenario means 0 % will be driving. To reduce drivers under the influence requires technology, detection, education, consequences and rehabilitation far more than marijuana being illegal. In fact if I had to guess I'd think the law working AGAINST consumers, would get less adherence and support than the law working WITH consumers.

          Sidenote? I found your Masai diet of strictly milk and meat interesting but limited. It would lack a full range of nutrients for one. Myself, I'm an omnivore.
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        Nov 29 2013: well, Martin, if you buy my argument that drivers high on marijuana might hit other people more often in their cars, then you would have to believe that giving people freedom to smoke marijuana would impinge on other people's lives, in the sense that they might be hurt or killed by the person who is high. I return to this argument because it seems like the strongest and most impactful. I'm sure you feel sad when you read in a paper that a person, or multiple persons, were hit and killed by a driver under the influence of alcohol. If you legalize marijuana, I'm afraid you would read more stories like this, except it would be drivers under the influence of marijuana.

        Another thing is that with more driving under marijuana, you would have more near misses in driving additionally to accidents. Have you ever almost been hit by a car? That's not pleasant psychologically either, is it?

        Yes, it is bad when a peace officer dies. But we can also say that a peace officer has more chance of not dying in an encounter with an intoxicated person, in other words, an ordinary person struck by an intoxicated driver doesn't have the training to save themselves, whereas a peace officer fighting marijuana trade has training, weaponry, communications devices, bulletproof vests, fellow officer support, and so on.

        But it might be smart to examine the statistics, how many people are killed or injured now fighting marijuana, versus how many many additionally would be if you legalized it. I think you would have to somehow factor in the "near miss" factor I cite above, though, too, because quality of life would go down if there were more "near misses" when driving.

        It would be nice if education, etc. caused people who want to be intoxicated to be safe about it. It doesn't seem like that has been the case with alcohol, in spite of education, we still have plenty of DUI's.
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        Nov 29 2013: yes, I tried to start a conversation about my diet, but TED said it was a more of a "testimonial" than a conversation, so rejected.

        I have been living almost 100% on skim milk for five years. Every day I drink about two gallons of organic skim milk, plus a little pure cream here and there, and hardly eat or drink anything else. For me it has been great, among other things I easily maintain at 165 pounds, the middle of normal on the BMI for my height, six feet, two inches.

        I started doing it because my eyes were bothering me, and the eye doctor's solutions were not satisfactory. When I return to solid food now, my eyes hurt. When I go back to milk, they feel good, partly I think because milk is easier for the body to process and use than solid food. I have heard people say they think the diet is missing certain nutrients, my response is that I have been living on this diet for five years, and I have seen only benefits, no ill results from lack of nutrients, and I don't think my body is too different from other people's.

        If you feel good as an omnivore, there's probably no reason to change.
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    Nov 18 2013: The immediate effects of taking marijuana include rapid heart beat, disorientation, lack of physical coordination, often followed by depression or sleepiness. Some users suffer panic attacks or anxiety.

    Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke.

    Marijuana changes the structure of sperm cells, deforming them. Thus even small amounts of marijuana can cause temporary sterility in men. Marijuana use can upset a woman’s menstrual cycle.

    Mental functions of people who have smoked a lot of marijuana tend to be diminished. The THC in cannabis disrupts nerve cells in the brain affecting memory.

    Cannabis is one of the few drugs which causes abnormal cell division which leads to severe hereditary defects. A pregnant woman who regularly smokes marijuana or hashish may give birth prematurely to an undersized, underweight baby.

    Studies have shown a connection between continued marijuana use and psychosis.

    Synthetic Cannabis is used to abate pain (induces euphoria) and eases eye pressure in glaucoma patients. There is no diseases where it is a cure ... the effects are temporary and associated with sedative effects.

    The bad points far out weigh the benefits ... they call it getting "stoned" for a reason.

    This subject comes up about once a month. I realize this is a extremely liberal web site ... but the push to justify weed once a month shows the market is alive and well.

    From the law enforcement view .... it is a factor way to often in crimes ... and often associated in motor deaths and homicides. It is not a victimless crime.

    I hope you or yours do not die for someone else fun or worse kill someone while using drugs. Not saying you do ...

    Bob.
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      Nov 18 2013: Homicides? You almost had me convinced until I read that bit! :P

      It's not just liberals who smoke it. Do you have any sources for this list of claims?

      (though if you'd rather not discuss this topic again... that is totally alright.)
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        Nov 18 2013: Yes Homicides. Dealing drugs is a big and very nasty business. When drug deals go bad the results are fatal .... get into debit with your local dealer and see the mercy he will show you.

        Turf is money and is protected by force. Here in Arizona there are signs all along the border that say it is a drug zone and do not enter. Ranchers are killed just for being in the way of the cartel moving drugs into the US.

        There are hundreds of sites that tell the dangers of Marijuana. I chose the AMA and CDC as sources.

        I am surprised that you have never heard of drug wars .... but then again with all the information available on harmful effects ... you have not heard of them either.

        Talk to doctors who attempt to save a life but cannot because the veins have collapsed ...

        There really is no way to change minds .... there is only two camps .... for and against.

        See if your local police have a ride along program ... ride with a officer and see and hear first hand .... volunteer to work the emergency room .... see the results of drug use first hand. Then if you still do not believe .... enjoy and good luck.

        Thanks for the reply Fred.
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          Nov 18 2013: While marijuana is certainly used by gang members and trafficked by cartels, so are weapons, but one would be totally wrong to say that weapons are only owned and used by gangs and cartels. It would be wrong to even say the majority of gun owners are gang bangers.

          For marijuana this is even more so the case. Maybe the cartels still traffic to your state, but visit a state where medical marijuana is legal and everything is locally grown. Sure medical marijuana is an incredible front for recreational cultivation and sale, but in states that have legalized it, the stereotypes you've referred to here are even more irrelevant.

          I smoke marijuana almost daily (I confess!) and I don't interact with a single thug like character. My whole network of peers, many of them heavy smokers their whole lives, have nothing to do with the criminal culture you allude to here, and have no "drug dealers". They either grow it themselves or purchase from a friend that grows.

          If the "nasty business of drug dealing" you refer to here is at all relevant in your state, it's likely because of prohibition. In any case, marijuana is likely the least of their interests.
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          Nov 26 2013: Bob?

          " Yes Homicides. Dealing drugs is a big and very nasty business. When drug deals go bad the results are fatal .... get into debit with your local dealer and see the mercy he will show you."

          ..but if marijuana were decriminalized and or legal.. people would simply grow it for free in their backroom and never meet a dealer .. and if they can get it for free that dealers out of work..
          ..I think this particular point .. of yours is in FAVOR of decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana?
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        Nov 19 2013: We are a gate way state for the cartels to move their goods and even if it was legalized here we would still have the trafficking issue and killings this includes drugs and human trafficking.

        This conversation was directed as to why marijuana is illegal and that was what I directed my response to.

        Six states have decriminalized non medical marijuana including yours. It is however still against federal law. The import or export would be a crime. However, with Maui wowie available why would you.

        Thanks for your reply. Bob.
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          Nov 26 2013: Bob .. the same way people grow tomatoes or any other plant, they'd grow their own pot.
          There is no special preparation you simply grow it, hang it to dry, roll it and smoke it.

          The cartels as you say would drop it like a hot rock because the dollar value would become less than bubble gum if decriminalized and still hardly more if legalized. Simply would not be worth it provided the cartels can yet use HARD DRUGS LIKE COCAINE and heroin etc. to fuel their trade.

          .. although it would cut into their business somewhat.. all the youth and people that normally use marijuana recreationally? .. would never meet them.. never get introduced to hard drugs by going to see them for pot... marijuana as a gateway to hard drugs.. would be closed..
      • Dec 7 2013: TY Fred
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          Dec 7 2013: NP, I'm replying to your other reply here, because there wasn't room over there.

          "as we know the corporations already run the government all the way to the Supreme Court and I am not impressed with what they have done to the government."

          Exactly. Though to be fair, the OP is from Canada, and it could certainly be a very different situation over there. Here in the states we have private sector-government wedlock, with incredible resources at its disposal, and with our foreign influence, a kind of global hegemony for business. The establishment's interest in illicit trafficking wouldn't cease, it would just change shape, and in many ways its control over the "product" would increase.

          There's a recent CNN clip here, with a former Microsoft executive describing this vision: http://www.weedist.com/2013/11/cnn-video-pot-mint-millionaires-microsoft/

          This same man wishes to create a Starbucks-type chain of weed cafes - http://www.businessinsider.com/starbucks-of-marijuana-coming-soon-2013-5

          I'm not fundamentally against this. If I want to open a weed cafe, I should have the freedom to. But nebulous rights aside, let's examine the implications. It's nice that there's a Starbucks in every town. But their baked goods are shipped in frozen. And that's still okay, because there's often local shops that bake things fresh. But imagine if we had a world where baked goods were technically illegal, yet hidden in the basements of each town, remarkable muffins and bagels were baked fresh, local and organic, and a remarkable community enjoyed these high quality baked goods safe in the underground. If the opportunity to legalize baked goods was presented to them, but they understood the Starbucks that were to come, perhaps they would agree that they have things alright? As long as baking was decriminalized, their rich local cultivation could continue, and the Starbucks would never come.

          It would probably hinge on whether or not legalization meant they could bake their own goods.
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      Nov 18 2013: i bet 500 dollars that all of these are either false or entirely irrelevant.

      but what is absolutely certain: none of these validate banning.
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        Nov 18 2013: I seldom use the term "absolutely certain". I used information from the AMA and CDC but what do professionals know.

        There are only two camps .... for and against. I will not try to change minds but would hope that they would consider the health issues and the dangers of the drug wars and the people who enforce the no quarters penalties.

        Thanks for the reply.
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          Nov 18 2013: for and against what? drug use or drug ban?

          it is irrelevant what effects marijuana has. there can be no moral argument for putting someone in jail for growing, buying, smoking or eating a certain substance. you can have any opinion on it, but you have no right whatsoever to either stop me or punish me for it. i'm an adult, and i can make decisions for myself.
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        Nov 18 2013: I was glad to see you admit that there are bad effects to drug use. Your complaint seems to be that your are being told to not do something. Laws are most generally enacted for the common good. At some point the consensus or data from competent authority has determined that Marijuana was not in the best interest for the general good of society.

        The law against "growing, buying, selling, smoking, eating" as you state does not mean you cannot do it ... it does say that if you do and are caught ... there will be consequences.

        As a law enforcement person I can state, but not with "absolute certainty", that not all adults make good decisions for themselves.

        Thanks for the reply .... Bob.
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          Nov 18 2013: using shield terms don't defend you. if you have no right to kill, you also don't have the right to appoint someone to kill. that is the same thing. you don't have the right to violate me for eating something. therefore you don't have the right to elect officials that do. you, in person, are responsible for violating my personal rights. you don't even notice it, because you are so deeply got used to it. you, through the elected state officials, violate the rights of many many people every day, for no reason at all. those people have not done anything against you, you just initiated violence against them in the name of holy things. this is only quantitatively, and not qualitatively different than what the taliban do.
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        Nov 18 2013: You missed your calling. You should have been a spin doctor for politicians. Laws are one means of determining the right from the wrong. That you refuse to accept that is another issue. Is there any chance of addressing the subject .... We went from law enforcement to me being a terrorist ... I certainly hope no one has violated you for any reason. If you have acted in a manner that is against the existing law no one has violated your rights ... you made a bad choice. And I might add did so knowingly. You were aware of the law and the consequences ... so take your medicine for the bad choice you made. Just because you don't like it does not make it go away.

        To quote Shakespeare "Me thinks you protest to much".

        Does shield terms mean I carry a badge ???

        Confused by your reply but still here .... Bob.
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          Nov 18 2013: you could not be farther from the truth. laws have nothing to do with determining anything. laws are not even supposed to determine anything. they supposed to be the fruits of such a determination. but in reality, they fail even at that. our laws are created by rulers and rulers are elected by simple majority. all it takes is 51% of the people being ignorant, and bad laws are coming. let me emphasize that i did NOT talk about the violation of my "rights" as granted by law. but rather, my human rights as like freedom for example, or property rights.

          being aware of a threat does not mean acceptance. and acceptance does not mean agreement. just because the violator called out his actions in advance, it does not change the morality of the situation.

          well, i was not talking about your badge, but this is a good observation. a badge is also a shield. it frees you from the burden of thinking. it validates actions that would not be valid otherwise. it allows you to kick the door on someone that did not hurt anyone, just because it is "your job". it is established long ago that such status does not mean a goddam thing, and is not an acceptable excuse. but we still use that excuse, as it still works with the majority.
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        Nov 18 2013: Your arguments are emotional. Hard to discuss this issue with you. See ya.
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        Nov 19 2013: I love it. Thanks for the laugh.
      • Dec 7 2013: I'll put another $500 with yours... TY Krisztián
    • Dec 7 2013: WOW................................... MY B.S. detector just went off the chart!
  • Nov 18 2013: Its illegal because its (mildly) mind altering, and because while it probably won't kill you, it can give you emphysema just fine. Tradition is also a big part of it, it was made illegal historically while it was poorly understood (they used to think it turned you crazy, a theory now debunked), and because certain industries found it threatening for all sorts of reasons.

    I suppose you could argue that alcohol and tobacco are legal, and they both do far more damage, but that's more of an argument against alcohol and tobacco than it is for marijuana.

    Still, like prohibition of alcohol in the US during the 1920's did more harm than good, turning the stuff illegal is doing more harm than good, but many of the same reasons.
    Like alcohol, the stuff is harmful and not terribly good for you, but making it illegal isn't stopping people from using it. Hardly helps that it fills the jails beyond capacity for minor offenses, and funds illegal elements as opposed to being taxed.
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      Nov 27 2013: So it seems.. the justification for marijuana being illegal is not present yet. Nice to meet you Nadav.
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    Nov 18 2013: We might well ask, "Why is hemp considered a drug?" It's not and everyone knows its not. But law enforcement of the growing of pot would be more difficult to detect, so hemp is illegal to grow as well. In the meantime, we import hemp instead of allowing farmers to grow it here in the US
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      Nov 18 2013: Conspiracy theorists might say that pot was made illegal because of hemp. The hemp industry was a threat to wood paper and other competitors, and the DuPont family among other saught to prohibit pot for this reason.

      Certainly this isn't totally true, if it is at all. Several states had made it illegal prior, and the general movement at the time was to regulate or prohibit drugs and poisons. Before the Pure Food and Drug Act (1906) there was no mandatory labelling of food or drugs at all, and the prohibition movement is certainly understandable given the state of society at the time.

      Though I don't doubt somewhere along the lines, those who felt threatened by hemp would've joined forces with that movement. Hemp is quite the miracle plant, and if it was made illegal simply out of fear that people would grow smokeable pot... clearly outlawing hemp hasn't made growing it any more difficult, meanwhile in the US we've been forced to pay heavy tariffs on a crop that would otherwise bring some sanity into our materials and logging industries.
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        Nov 18 2013: This seems like a pretty good overview of the laws restricting Marijuana in the US

        http://modesto.craigslist.org/rnr/4187519211.html

        The Pure Food and Drug Act was then passed by the United States Congress in 1906 and required that certain special drugs, including them with cannabis, be accurately labeled with contents. Previously many drugs had been sold as patent medicines with secret ingredients or misleading labels. [11] Even after the passage of regulations, there continued to be criticisms about the availability of narcotics and around 1910 there was a wave of legislation aimed to strengthen requirements for their sale and remove what were commonly referred to as "loopholes" in poison laws. The new revisions aimed to restrict all narcotics, including cannabis, as poisons, limit their sale to pharmacies, and require doctor's prescriptions. The first instance was in the District of Columbia in 1906, under 'An act to regulate the practice of pharmacy and the sale of poisons in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes'. [12]

        Further regulation of cannabis followed in Massachusetts (1911), New York (1914), and Maine (1914). In New York, reform legislation began under the Towns-Boylan Act, which targeted all "habit-forming drugs", restricted their sale, prohibited refills in order to prevent habituation, prohibited sale to people with a habit, and prohibited doctors who were themselves habituated from selling them. [13]
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        Nov 27 2013: I must add, that one important reason that "pot" is still illegal is because the "war on drugs," and to a very large part the war on drugs was a war on pot, funds police forces.
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          Nov 27 2013: Certainly. Last year the citizens of Grand Rapids, MI successfully passed a ballot initiative to decriminalize marijuana within the city limits. Today the law is in effect, and 1st offense for possession is a civil infraction and carries a $25 fine, but that's only after a legal battle with the county's head prosecutor. He argued that Michigan state law overrides city law, and the new law would cause confusion for his police officers. I'm sure the story is similar in other places. The police departments realize their current employment model wouldn't be sustainable or necessary.
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      Nov 27 2013: Makes me wonder just how much profits their will be for the nation to reel in once its decriminalized and legalized.

      It does seem to be an incredibly versatile product from one end to the other.
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        Nov 27 2013: The police will not permit this change in the "war on drugs" without a fight.

        "Under the new Washington law, police must suspect impaired driving before stopping a vehicle. The driver's blood would be drawn by a medical professional, and anyone that tested above five nanograms is automatically subject to a DUI conviction. The provision, added to the Washington initiative to make recreational marijuana legalization more palatable to voters, is not without controversy. While proponents cite scientific evidence, including an Australian study of over 3,000 fatal automobile crashes that found risk increased with a THC blood level between 3.5 and 5 nanograms, marijuana activists express concern that medical users may face legal punishment that doesn't take into account a person's size, metabolism, or reaction to the drug, in the same way that drivers are not necessarily impaired by alcohol simply because they are above an arbitrarily set "legal limit."

        http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/marijuana-driving-laws
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          Nov 27 2013: Theodore I respect the argument you present and your directness in stating it.

          Any union is bound to fight not for what is ethically right and just, but for self preservation and expansion.

          There is little doubt that when the portion of law enforcement budget reserved for combating marijuana use is reduced to a handful of "driving while intoxicated" it may mean job loss but it does not have to.

          The war on drugs can shift its focus to where it really belongs, on the hard drugs that are killing our people and destroying our nations from the inside out. Yes I agree that for law enforcement to turn its focus from namby pamby "we got you ""ya ok dude" marijuana users to "OVER OUR/YOUR DEAD BODY" cocaine, crack, meth, heroine, zombie drug users is going to take a lot of grit and some new strategies.. that it will become a real war.. but perhaps not.

          Perhaps as we separate soft drugs from hard drugs the line and reasoning between socially acceptable and socially unacceptable drugs will make sense and the market for hard drugs will begin to dwindle.

          As for "DUI"'s society will accept and respect the logic of safety on our roads in exchange for not being criminalized for consuming a bit of recreational marijuana. I further see that there will be other laws as to where and under what conditions it may be used as unlike alcohol which is drank, marijuana is often smoked and therefore airborne so others nearby will have to be considered.

          Our society will evolve toward more responsibility, and technology will help us. Working together as a team toward common logic and goals .. is the future of humankind if we are to survive as a species.
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        Nov 27 2013: This is only slightly off topic but we might well ask, Why are people self medicating to the degree they are, be it alcohol, or drugs, or over eating? When we are willing as a society to treat and correct these problems instead of punishing the individuals afflicted with them we will all be much better off.

        See http://billmoyers.com/segment/henry-giroux-on-zombie-politics/
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          Nov 27 2013: Perhaps it is slightly off topic Theodore, and perhaps it as far closer to the bullseye reasoning of why marijuana is illegal than many or most may realize.

          Bill Moyers in that brief blurb you provided hinted at and around Maslov's hierarchy of needs.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

          Imagine you want to control a nation. The higher up Maslov's hierarchy people move the more less like cattle they become as they move towards attaining self fulfillment.

          So, if you want to control a nation you need to keep their minds off what they can attain "if" and the best way to do that is to keep them low on Maslov's ladder and strongly focused on surviving day to day.

          One of the properties of marijuana is short term memory loss. Often touted by opponents as a detriment but is it really?

          Is it really a detriment to come home from a negatively stressful day at work, smoke or ingest a non harmful natural herb that "just for a little while" lets you forget all the stress's and laugh? To think random thoughts of "what if" exercising our prefrontal cortex ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prefrontal_cortex

          I say its great for the individual, rather than spending your evening stuck in the rut of rehashing the days stress, one moves up Maslov's ladder temporarily as the prefrontal cortex is unleashed thinking "what if .. I paint this room a bright color" "what if I take the family to the beach this weekend" "what if I were to return to school" or a million other "what ifs" Does oppression benefit from people thinking what if? I should think not, we'd better make that illegal and FAST.

          Why are people self medicating? It is natural human behavior to attempt to relieve negative stress. The greater the stress, the greater the desire to relieve it by any means necessary.

          When will society treat the issue rather than the symptom? When treating the issue becomes more profitable than not.
  • Nov 18 2013: I would say it is still illegal due to the powers that be still not having a system in place where they can tax and regulate hemp/cannabis to their liking. The very instant a proposal is made that benefits lobbyists, politicians, and whoever else is in charge of regulation of pharmaceutical and agricultural products marijuana will be legalized on a federal level.
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      Nov 27 2013: I agree Michael.

      I also feel that while I'm sure many of the powers that be can see lucrative profits for many or most uses of marijuana and hemp, the confounding part must surely be that unlike many recreational drugs including alcohol .. to produce personal product one really only needs to grow it dry it and consume it.

      There really isn't any fancy process that can justify or prevent the average person from creating their own supply. It may be that this is the very reason that it remains illegal.

      Provided it is illegal marijuana produces jobs for those in the law enforcement (to catch users) , to those in the courts (to process caught users), to those in corrections ( to incarcerate users), to drug dealers (to supply users) to rehab centers (to counsel users) and so on.

      The instant that marijuana becomes decriminalized .. all those jobs (costs to taxpayers) and more vanish in the blink of an eye.

      Not to mention what it will do to have all the other product and medicinal aspects of marijuana on the market. What would happen to the medical industry for example if using marijuana on a widespread scale reduces cancer and pharmaceutical business?

      Can the benefits of legalizing it compensate for all that lost revenue?

      I fear that is the single reason justifying marijuana being illegal.. and that entire nations suffer so that a few can stuff their pockets.